After the Jack Grealish attack: it’s time all footballers were armed
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 Fire at will!
After Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was attacked by a Birmingham City fan during Sunday’s derby at St. Andrew’s, reaction was swift. The idiot was jailed for 14 weeks.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville wondered that would have happened had the criminal been carrying a knife. It was a good question, although I wondered why Neville had thought only of a knife and not, say, a gun, candlestick or length of lead piping?
Neville’s thinking was doubtless shaped by historical events, particularly when Monica Selles was stabbed between the shoulder blades by a keen Steffi Graf fan during a break between games in a 1993 match in Germany. If it can happen in the genteel spot of women’ tennis, why not in football? Such is his breadth of Neville’s sporting knowledge, we should expect to hear the ubiquitous former Manchester United defender commentating at Wimbledon soon.
Meanwhile, over the airwaves on BBC Radio Wales – thus marking the punch as an international incident – ex-Birmingham forward David Cotterill served up the suggestion that police attending football matches be armed with guns. “Shoot” scream the crowd as the players take cover.
Again, the player is not going far enough. Why not twin football with darts or the javelin? If the Modern Pentathlon can test athletes for their prowess with fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, and a final combined event of pistol shooting and cross country running, surely its within the wit of the FIFA to equip all footballers with rifles and print targets on replica kits. Although given many football hooligans’ predilection for the Stone Island fashion brand, anyone clad in crosshairs is fair game.
Man City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says fans attacking players cannot continue, after Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was attacked in a match with arch-rivals Birmingham and Chris Smalling was confronted by a fan in Manchester United's game with Arsenal.